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The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania may have committed an error in the treatment of a prostate cancer patient, according to a report the hospital filed Feb. 25 with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The report, posted to the NRC website Wednesday, states that the radioactive seeds used in the patient’s brachytherapy treatment were implanted “outside the intended target.”

Brachytherapy involves the implantation of small radioactive seeds near the site of the cancerous tissue.

According to the report, the patient underwent the procedure on Jan. 21, and a scan on Feb. 23 revealed the error.

The error may have been due the use of a malfunctioning ultrasound unit to place the seeds, the report said.

HUP spokeswoman Susan Phillips wrote in a statement that the case was identified by HUP’s Department of Radiation Oncology as part of “quality assurance activities.” She added that an on-site review is being scheduled and that the hospital is cooperating fully.

“It doesn’t mean anything is wrong,” Phillips said. “It’s just a report.”

Brachytherapy was at the center of controversy after School of Medicine radiation oncologist Gary Kao reportedly misplaced seeds in 92 of 116 procedures at the Philadelphia Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, which had a brachytherapy program from 2002 and 2008. After initially denying wrongdoing, the VA admitted violating federal codes in January.

The report is unrelated to the federal lawsuit filed against HUP earlier this week.

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